Daniel Schmidt, the editor in chief of the Chicago Thinker, told the Todd Starnes Show about the backlash he received for exposing the media’s woke agenda.
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The following is a rush transcript from The Todd Starnes Radio Show. Listen to the program live Monday – Friday from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m.Click here to listen to the full interview.
TODD STARNES: [01:38:29] Daniel Schmidt, senior editor with the Chicago Thinker, which is an independent student newspaper. They’ve been asking questions that a lot of people are just afraid to ask of the media, and now the Atlantic’s editor in chief is calling the Chicago Thinker’s reporting a disinformation campaign. Unbelievable. Well, I want to go to the Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line and the brave individual who asked that question joins us, Daniel Schmidt, who is a freshman at the University of Chicago. Daniel, what an honor to have you with us today. [01:39:08][38.9]
DANIEL SCHMIDT: [01:39:10] Hey, Todd, thank you for having me. It’s an honor to be on here. [01:39:12][2.5]
STARNES: [01:39:13] So I want you to take us through all of this. You guys attending the conference, we understand another individual questioned Brian Stelter. Why were you there, and what’s the point of the conference? [01:39:26][13.4]
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SCHMIDT: [01:39:28] Yeah, so just to preface it, we are the Chicago Thinker, which is thechicagothinker.com, is a conservative journal, as you mentioned on campus, and we heard that our school was hosting this event called disinformation and the erosion of democracy, and they were going to have all these big name speakers like Barack Obama, Amy Klobuchar, Anne Applebaum, and Adam Kinzinger, for example, and we said, You know what? We need media passes at this event. We think we need to cover it, because we figured all other media at this event would, of course, be one sided. Fortunately, we did get media passes, and we didn’t want to put that opportunity to waste. So, we figured we’re going to try to ask every single person we can hard, legitimate questions. And it started off on Wednesday with Anne Applebaum as you played a tape in which I asked a very basic question, was the media inappropriate in instantly labeling the Hunter Biden laptop as disinformation? She, of course, as you hear, did not answer the question, and that went viral. That video now has over 2.5 million views on Twitter. The day afterward, as you mentioned, my friend Christopher Phillips talked to Brian Stelter and asked him, why is CNN always so one sided? Is there a coincidence or is there something at play? In return, Brian Stelter called it a conspiracy theory and basically said my friend was just repeating right wing talking points. That clip also has nearly five million views. And then today, as you mentioned, right when the conference was ending, the editor in chief of the Atlantic and this is just breaking news, this happened maybe ten minutes ago. Jeffrey Goldberg went up and said, it’s unfortunate that this conference has led to a disinformation campaign on social media. Now, he didn’t name us, of course, but who else could he be referencing? So, you know, we find that extremely ridiculous. We also find it extremely cowardly that he won’t even name us. So that is the current state of affairs at the University of Chicago. [01:41:18][110.3]
STARNES: [01:41:19] What I thought was fascinating was the answer that she gave. I mean, you guys really got under their skin, but you were able to expose, in her answer, the thinking and the behavior of corporate media. They look down on everybody. They think they are intellectually superior. How dare you ask us these kinds of questions, and these kinds of stories just don’t interest us. [01:41:46][26.2]
SCHMIDT: [01:41:47] Yeah, I mean, the contempt for the average American is real. I mean, look, these elites, what they do is they go to these universities and they figure, you know, these kids are not going to ask us any hard questions. We can go in there, we’ll, you know, we’ll get a big check. We can look smart, we can look educated, and then we can call it a day. And so, when there’s actually students, when there’s actually kids asking them tough, you know, focused questions, they’re like, wait a second, we didn’t sign up for this. And yeah, that’s exactly what happened. And in return, we basically get immense condescension. You know, it’s a perfect representation of the smugness that we’ve been experiencing from people like this for years. It’s ridiculous. [01:42:22][34.7]
STARNES: [01:42:23] Daniel Schmidt is senior editor of The Chicago Thinker, and he is on the Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line right now, and we have links to their website and their social media pages over on our live show blog. Daniel, I thought it was interesting – one of your colleagues asked Brian Stelter a question, and what really got me about Stelter is that he tried to deflect by bringing up the slaughter of the Fox News crew and the injured Fox News reporter, and he never did answer that question. That was pretty sleazy. [01:42:55][32.7]
SCHMIDT: [01:42:57] Of course, I mean, my colleague, he brought up numerous instances from Nick Sandmann to Kavanaugh to Jussie Smollett. There’s a whole list of fake news stories CNN has perpetrated and really has haven’t even admitted they’ve done wrong. And in return, Brian Stelter was like, yeah, but I yelled at a Biden aide like, it’s ridiculous. I mean, these people are not serious people. You know, it really makes you wonder how could someone as dumb as Brian Stelter get to where he is nowadays? That, I think, is the real question. [01:43:24][26.7]
STARNES: [01:43:25] That’s a fair question, actually. If you find out, let us know. We’ll put you back on the show. I’m curious, what’s been the response? Has the administration reached out to you? Your fellow students there at the University of Chicago? [01:43:37][11.9]
SCHMIDT: [01:43:39] Well, I think our greatest response is actually, as I mentioned, what happened just five minutes ago when the conference was ending the editor in chief of the Atlantic, along with David Axelrod, they went up and they said this event, unfortunately, has led to a disinformation campaign on social media. So, what they mean by that is by us asking questions and then literally just posting the videos on our social media. That to them, is disinformation. So, you know, let’s just make sure we get this correct. This is a conference on disinformation. We went there. We asked the people questions, we posted it, and now we are being accused of spreading disinformation. I mean, if this is not a perfect representation of how our elites, how our media works, I don’t know what is. We were just a bunch of college students, and we are being accused by the editor in chief of the Atlantic of waging some elaborate disinformation campaign. [01:44:31][52.1]
STARNES: [01:44:32] Unbelievable. And I will say this. I was most impressed with the photograph you guys posted. The Thinker gang celebrating the collapse of corporate journalism with some pizza. [01:44:42][10.1]
SCHMIDT: [01:44:43] Yeah, I mean, you know, I think a picture like that is just real, you don’t see, you know, people smiling, people happy, often you hear journalists complaining about how terrible their lives are. I mean, at the end of the day, we’re were having fun. This is something we all enjoy. We have passion. You know, a lot of us, this isn’t even helping our careers. A lot of people on the team want to enter academia or math or finance. This is actually hurting their career, but they’re doing it because they have a passion. And I think this is just so remarkable. So, a picture like that, that is just innocent and wholesome, I think just kind of represents what we’re all about. [01:45:13][29.2]
STARNES: [01:45:13] Where did you guys get the pizza? That actually looks pretty good. [01:45:15][2.2]
SCHMIDT: [01:45:18] It’s a deep-dish place nearby, called Giordano’s. They don’t sponsor us. But there it is. If anyone’s in Chicago, check them out. [01:45:23][4.9]
STARNES: [01:45:23] OK, what you need to do, tag them. You got to tag them Daniel, and then you never know, you may get a sponsor or something – pizza once a week. [01:45:31][8.0]
SCHMIDT: [01:45:32] I don’t know if they’ll appreciate our viewpoint. Maybe we can do that. [01:45:35][3.2]
STARNES: [01:45:36] Well, look, I don’t think you guys are going to have any problems getting jobs. I own a media company, and we’re always looking for full time writers. So, you know, let’s stay in touch. And you guys should be commended. You did a great service to the nation exposing these guys and gals for what they really are. [01:45:55][19.4]
SCHMIDT: [01:45:57] Thank you so much. That really means a lot. Thank you. Truly. [01:45:58][1.9]